DPS’ Rios is NMCADSV Bridge of Light awardee

Posted on Oct 29 2020

Department of Public Safety officer Rose Taman Rios, center, accepts the 2020 Bridge of Light Award, which was recently presented at DPS headquarters. The BOLA is given out each year by the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence to honor the accomplishments and efforts of one individual who has worked to end domestic violence and sexual assault in the CNMI. (NMCADSV)

The Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence has named Department of Public Safety officer Rose Taman Rios as the recipient of the 2020 Bridge of Light Award.

This annual award is presented by NMCADSV to honor one extraordinary individual who has worked diligently to provide safety for the community, to work to end domestic violence and sexual assault, and to be a “bridge of light” for victims and survivors in the CNMI.

The 2020 BOLA recipient, Rios, has been serving as an officer at DPS for over five years, with the last three years in the Special Victims Unit in which she works as an investigator for domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Rios received two nominations. According to one of her nominators, Rios’ demonstrates an exemplary work ethic and quickly developed skills as an investigator. The two nominators also recognized her dedication to helping victims and survivors in a way that is trauma-informed and empowerment-focused, from accompanying them to court dates or sexual assault exams, to working with agencies to find them other services they need, including counseling and health care.

“She is not working just to work,” said one of Rios’ BOLA nominators who noted her willingness to report to work outside her scheduled hours to help victims and survivors gain a “sense of safety and security.”

This strong sense of compassion and attention to detail as an investigator has recently led to Rios playing a crucial part in determining that the abuser in a particular domestic violence case had also been sexually abusing children in the household. Rios then investigated further and found additional victims who were children outside the household, making an impact on the case and the community. The abuser was recently convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

“Uniqueness might be an understatement to describe all the commitment she shows through her work,” one nominator wrote when asked if there was anything unique about Rios’ work in anti-domestic violence and sexual assault movement in the CNMI.

“We feel honored to be able to recognize people like Rose Taman Rios with the Bridge of Light Award,” said NMCADSV board chair Reina C. Camacho. “Thank you so much for sharing your talents, skills and compassion to help victims and survivors.”

“It is inspiring to hear how much of a positive difference one individual like Rose can make in our community and for the movement to end violence in the CNMI,” said Camacho. “We hope this award shows we understand and appreciate the weight and importance of those contributions.”

Camacho also thanked the Tan Siu Lin Foundation for their continued sponsorship of this award and the Salt & Barber Art Studio for donating a gift certificate to the Bridge of Light Award. As the recipient, Rios will also be receiving the opportunity to attend a retreat or a training courtesy of NMCADSV.

Rios was presented the Bridge of Light Award and prizes from the Tan Siu Lin Foundation and Salt & Barber Art Studio at a ceremony held at DPS headquarters.

At the surprise ceremony, Rios accepted the award and spoke about feeling “very privileged” for the nominations that came from her superior officers and “more than grateful” to have received the award.

“But really when we get to the bottom of things, we have to acknowledge the victims who are truly the heroes,” said Rios.

Rios thanked those in the DPS administration, her colleagues, other front-liners, and community agencies who provide support for victims and survivors, as well as her family.

“Big thanks to my family, too,” said Rios. “I’m a single mom and a [domestic violence] survivor as well. My job would not be possible if not for my family and my kids.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, call 911 for emergencies. You can also call the Karidat Victim Hotline at 234-5100 for counseling or to ask questions.

For more information about the Bridge of Light Award, contact the NMCADSV at 234-3878 or email info@endviolencenmi.org. (NMCADSV)

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